7 Dec 2021 20:56

Belarus introduces ban on imports of broad range of Western food products starting Jan 1, 2022 - govt

MINSK. Dec 7 (Interfax) - Belarus will ban importation of a broad range of Western food products, beginning on January 1, 2022, the government press service said on Tuesday.

"The government has resolved that from January 1, 2022, a food embargo will be introduced with regard to a broad selection of goods produced in countries implementing discriminatory policies and pursuing unfriendly actions toward our country," the Belarusian government press service said in a commentary on Government Resolution 700 of December 6, 2021 on 'special measures with regard to certain types of goods.'

The list of banned imported goods in an attachment to the government resolution features 18 positions, including meat of bovine animals, pork, milk and milk products, except special dairy foods made of lactose-free milk, fruits and nuts, sausages, confectionary products and vegetables.

In January-October 2021, Belarus imported more than $530 million worth of 'food commodities and foodstuffs from countries applying sanctions against the republic," the government press service said in its commentary. It is emphasized in the commentary that the positions forming the core of these imports will be banned from the beginning of 2022.

"The interests of our citizens remain a key priority for the Republic of Belarus. The head of state has repeatedly directed [us] at taking retaliatory measures without detriment to the population. For that reason, the resolution of the Council of Ministers contains several exception clauses. In particular, it will not apply to any goods imported by Belarusians for personal consumption, and, for instance, those for child nutrition, and a number of other positions pertaining to critical imports," the commentary said.

"In parallel, measures will be taken to ensure balance in the consumer market, including by way of saturating it with domestically produced goods," it said.

"Importers, manufacturers and retail chains will be oriented toward substituting the goods that are not produced in Belarus with shipments from friendly countries," it said.

In the event of further destructive actions against Belarus, the country reserves the right to expand the range of banned imported goods, the Belarusian government said.